Remo and Ami Belli
As the founder, CEO and creative drive behind the world famous drumhead company Remo Inc., and the intensely passionate influence behind the company’s international HealthRHYTHMS division, Remo and Ami Belli have formed a loving marriage and dynamic partnership dedicated to promoting the many positive benefits that music, education, healthy living and a sense of community can have on the human condition.
Supporters of countless philanthropic endeavors — both locally and across the globe — the couple believes passionately in the health benefits of drumming and the relationship between recreational music and high quality of life. Among their efforts to infuse that message into society, they have partnered with educational institutions, musical organizations and healthcare advocates.
Because of their tireless efforts, the College of the Canyons Foundation has named Remo and Ami Belli recipients of the college’s “Silver Spur” Community Service Award for 2014.
“Remo and Ami have touched thousands of lives through music. Whether inspiring students and enabling them to express their creativity through sound, or healing minds and bodies with the therapeutic power of drumming, their dedication to improving the human condition has been felt around the world,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook.
In fact, the Bellis work in the community dates back almost as far as the Remo Inc., company name. Always on the cutting edge of technical innovations in the music and drumhead industry, in 1963 Remo, with several other like-minded musicians, combined forces to form the non-profit music service organization, Percussive Arts Society (PAS), to promote percussion education, research, performance and appreciation.
Remo continues to lend generous support to PAS and organizations including: American Music TherapyAssociation; International Association for Jazz Education; The Grammy Foundation; National Association for Music Education; Drum Corp International; Winter Guard International, Bands of America; and Youth Education in the Arts.
The creation of the REMO Recreational Music Center in North Hollywood, has also provided the company with a permanent venue to promote music education, health, and community. The Center regularly hosts free drum circles, workshops and concerts open to professional and amateur musicians, children, aging adults, medical patients and all those who might benefit from the experience of making music in a friendly, non-challenging environment.
Remo and Ami also continue to play an active role in the American Music Therapy Association, having established the HealthRHYTHMS division of Remo Inc. in 2000, to further promote the use of music and drum-based therapeutic strategies which can be integrated within group counseling sessions, support groups, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, schools and corporate employee wellness programs.
As the liaison for the company’s HealthRHYTHMS division, Ami continues to use her training as a medical practitioner to communicate with doctors and healthcare officials across the nation in an effort to help transform musical instruments into medical tools. The company also relies on Ami to inform the larger medical community about the emerging data related to music’s expanding role in protecting and helping one’s body, mind and spirit.
The Bellis have also sponsored scientific studies through UCLA and Los Angeles Unified School District that demonstrate the significant health benefits of drumming. In addition, Remo Inc. has supported the training of more than 2,000 HealthRHYTHMS facilitators in countries around the world.
At College of the Canyons these philanthropic efforts came to life during the college’s Rock the Rhythm, Beat The Odds communitywide drum circle event, held inside Cougar Stadium on May 18, 2012.
In the months leading up to the event, Remo Inc. sponsored a music education program in which every sixth- and seventh-grader in the Santa Clarita Valley received percussion-based music and rhythm instruction, designed to maximize each student’s creative expression, build social and emotional skills and emphasize the process of learning over performance.
Including the participation of legendary musicians Mickey Hart (The Grateful Dead) and John Densmore (The Doors), the event helped raise awareness of the value of arts education as a vital component in the development of ‘The Whole Child’ while bringing together more than 10,000 SCV residents together in the name of drumming.
The Bellis have been tireless supporters of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC), the PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program, the PAC’s Patrons of the Performing Arts support group and the Culinary Arts Capital Campaign.
Remo Inc. has also been a major supporter of the COC Foundation and several other educational endeavors at the college, including the COC music department and Early Childhood Education Center.
“Through their generosity, they have created amazing learning opportunities for our students.” Dr. Van Hook said. “The spirit of possibility and creativity inherent in music is embodied in the Silver Spur Award, so it makes the Bellis particularly worthy of this honor.”
The annual College of the Canyons Silver Spur Celebration is traditionally held at a historic museum,club or well-known Los Angeles landmark each spring — and is considered to be one of the community’s most popular and elegant evening events.
The 2014 Silver Spur Celebration — themed ‘Music and Medicine’ — will take place Saturday, March 1, 2014, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 5th Floor Salon, located at the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles.
The event begins at 6 p.m. where guests can enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a beautiful view of the Los Angeles skyline. The evening will also include live entertainment and drumming, as well as a live auction.
This year’s event is being co-chaired by Randy and Mitzi Moberg, members of the COC Foundation Board of Directors.
Previous recipients of the Silver Spur award include: Barry and Pati Gump, Richard and Marian Sandnes, Diana Cusumano, Myrna and Gary Condie, Harold and Jacquie Petersen, Wayne Crawford, Rita Garasi, Tom Veloz, Charlotte and Frank Kleeman, Gary Cusumano, Jay and Joyce Rodgers, Tom Lee, Lou Garasi, Michael Berger, Roberta Veloz, Dick Luechtefeld, Robert Ormsby, LaVerne Harris, John Hoskinson, Tom Dierckman, Scott and Ruth Newhall, Elisha “Aggie” Agajanian and Cliffe Stone.
For more information about the 2014 Silver Spur Award Ceremony, or to purchase tickets or become an event sponsor please contact the College of the Canyons Foundation at 661-362-3737.